Location: Minnesota, United States
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Saturday, April 30, 2005

Yep, too young to make her own decision

Sharp kid.

I'll be very interested to see what happens with this case in Florida. Could the court really rule that, though she wants to have an abortion, and she's legally entitled to one, and her doc says that she's at greater risk of death if she carries the baby to term than if she has an abortion, she can't have one?

I'm tellin' you, Atwood was not really all that out there. Next, we'll have 13-year-old girls, nuns, and liberals hanged on the city walls. I might as well start sewing a big red "L" on all my clothing right now.


This is mostly for my dad, who lent me his hedge trimmer so that I might try to reclaim my yard.

Better, dad?

(That one on the left had been seriously beaten up by the larger bush on its left.)

Now I just need to rent a power rake and go after the back lawn before I lose this battle. Can I do that this time of year? There seems no point in feeding the lawn with all that matted dead junk in the way.

Stupid, Dangerous, Stupid, Horrid, Stupid S.O.B.

James Dobson. If I feel like it, when we return from the WI Dells, I will rant and e-scream about why I hate that stupid, hateful, stupid, obnoxious, stupid f***ing man. ("If I feel like it" means if I can manage it without vomiting.)


Friday, April 29, 2005

Thanks to Dora

Eryn counted to six in Spanish without any help! She was counting stars in her "Dora Big Book."

Thursday, April 28, 2005


In my shower tile. Hundreds of them. The fact that they're identical and repeat in precisely the same places on each individual tile I take as evidence of their reality and their supernatural character. That one tile where they're all upside down is just mocking me.

Can't see them? There are many in each tile, and I've enhanced the image a bit to help you begin picking them out:

Now you see them, don't you.

I wasn't certain I wasn't just seeing random patterns in the tiles that only appeared to be faces. However, since the arrival of the Chicago Salt Virgin, I've realized that those demons in my tile are truly there. They've come to torment me for thinking the Chicago miracle is just a salt stain that looks more like an O'Keefe watercolor than Mary. Sure, the demons were there when we bought the house. They knew I would mock the miracle, and they've been waiting for their chance to drag me into Hell with them.

I'm pretty sure my textured ceilings harbor demons too.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Open Letter to Humvee Drivers

You are not cool.

Get bent.

Monday, April 25, 2005


We had Eryn's 2nd birthday party on Saturday. It was a much smaller affair than her 1st, but she was pretty excited. I'm posting one picture (Eryn helping us clean before the party) and linking to the rest so this isn't terribly photo laden.

Eryn and Millie having tea at the new table (from Mana and Papa)

Eryn on her new "big slide" (from Dan, Katie and Conner)

The lineup for the big slide

Opening the Sit-n-Spin (from Jackie, Andrew, and Oliver)

The Spin-N-Puke is most fun if Uncle Andrew spins it

Friday, April 22, 2005

Positive Reinforcement

Having complained bitterly and at length about my neighborhood Good Year, I thought it appropriate to advertise it when I received particularly good service at another local place. Alas, it had nothing to do with cars (but I'm happy with Larsen's, so who cares?)

Keep In Touch
3424 Denmark Ave.
(same strip mall as the nearly defunct Treasure's Island)

Ask for Jenny. She's young (which was kind of weird), but it was definitely the best massage I've had.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

First Accident

Yesterday as I was preparing to take Eryn to the neighborhood park, I turned my back on her for eight seconds (really) to clear stuff out of the Burley, and in that time, she climbed into her birthday present, slammed her foot down on the accelerator, and drove into my shins. (I heard the whirring and turned around just in time to take the hit face-forward.)

Scooter's parents gave her the John Deere Gator for her birthday. I think it's compensation for their experiences of having to drive foot-powered vehicles in their youths. (They're shown below visiting one of their old cars):

Because John was primarily responsible for the decision to purchase our daughter a motorized weapon, here's my favorite picture of him. (Just a little teasing, John; Eryn loves the truck, and it's hard not to be happy about it when she's so delighted!)

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Not A Gardener

There are two basic truths about me that are antithetical to being an effective gardener: I hate spiders, and I love bunnies. It's no surprise, then, that I have utterly ignored the abomination of a shrub in my front yard since we moved into this house nearly 2.5 years ago. The thing has appeared half-dead (the underneath half) while the top half grew wildly. It not pretty shrubbery. I went after it with a rake on Saturday, trying at least to remove some of the half-ton of leaves trapped in its dead underparts, but it didn't work very well. It did look better, but still not good. Then Dad the Master Gardener told me, basically, to cut it off at the shins. (Okay, what he actually said was to "take it down to six inches.") So I did. While I was doing this, I encountered no spiders (part of my internal rationale for not taking better care of the landscaping is that I will get spiders on me, and that's simply not acceptable), but did drive out a baby rabbit who was so startled it bounced back and forth between the tops of my feet several times before settling on a RUN FOR IT! strategy. Startled me, too.

I hope Dad said what I think he said, and not "take it down six inches," because the difference between that and what I actually did is about 36 inches. I'm not sure I entirely understand the difference between effectively pruning shubbery and hacking the shit out of it. Now time will tell whether I've killed or saved it. This is what it looks like now, after I did what I think I was advised to do:

At least it looks better than the back garden. I'd prove it with a photo, but trust me - you don't want to see the back garden.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Think you know yourself?

Find out.

I found this link to tests of implicit (unconscious) associations in Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking. I don't know what I think of the book yet, but taking the tests at the Harvard site is interesting, and a bit disturbing.

Who Would Jesus Hate?

Sieg heil, Herr Ratzinger Benedict!

Neanderthalish views on: women, stem cell research, reproductive freedom, homosexuality, progressivism. I'm so glad the Catholic Church isn't bending to the whims of society and so comfortable with its lack of prejudice that it is willing to make a former Hitler Youth and (later) Nazi gunner its face to the world. Good for you!

Monday, April 18, 2005

Since I grew up in Minnesota

one would think I'd have less Dixie in my vernacular. It must be the "soda" I picked up during my three years in Milwaukee. That alone appears to make me more Dixie than Scooter.

Your Linguistic Profile:

65% General American English
15% Upper Midwestern
10% Dixie
10% Yankee
0% Midwestern

What Kind of American English Do You Speak?

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Big Girl Bed

For the last week, Eryn has been complaining loudly of not being able to get into her crib by herslef, so today it underwent the transformation to toddler bed. Eryn was so excited while I made the changes she kept yelling "Do it self! Eryn do it self!"

She did really well at nap time this afternoon; tonight, she's been in bed chatting to herself for two hours (no crying or asking for us, no getting out of her bed, just reading and talking). Scooter checked on her a bit ago, and she told him over and over "Mommy fix[ed] Eryn's bed!" He said she doesn't seem upset or like she wants it put back the way it was - but maybe a little weirded out. I haven't heard anything for five minutes...maybe she's finally asleep in her big girl bed.

Monday, April 18 - Eryn is 2 years old today!
And, it's 1:40 in the morning, and she just, finally, fell asleep. Big girl bed anxiety, apparently.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

I Exist

I know it's true, because as of today I have my very own Federal Tax I.D. Number.

Now, what did I do with my clients, office space, furniture, malpractice insurance, and ability to bill to third-party payers?

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Under Their Radar

Michael over at AMERICAblog makes a good point about Cardinal Law's performing the service for JP2, and the apparent insensitivity of Church officials to the issue of sexual abuse perpetrated by priests. It is dispiriting, but expresses more eloquently than I could have how thoroughly a nonissue the Higher Ups must view such abuses to be. I'm including the last bit; the full piece is here.

I hate to disagree with Chris in Paris who saw Law's participation as a deliberate snub to those who criticized the Church over this issue. But in fact, it's much worse than that. The child sex abuse scandal -- which has gone on for decades (if not centuries) and which is hardly contained to the US (recent scandals have broken out in Ireland and Austria and elsewhere) -- is not even remotely on the radar for the Vatican or most cardinals from around the world. It barely registered on their consciousness and when it did it was simply as an example of the US's bizarre fixation on sex (a la Clinton's affair) and a lamentable case of Church leaders caving in to public opinion and abandoning priests just because the going got tough.

The child abuse scandal and Law? They weren't snubbing us; nope, they weren't even thinking about it.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Not The Pope

I was going to say something more about the passing of the Pope - perhaps comment on Cardinal Law's presiding over funeral - but it makes me tired even thinking about it. So instead, here's Scooter's and my kid, a year ago today. Oops, yesterday. Apparently April 10 was Easter last year.


I hope I never get so bored I contribute to this website.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Holy Pretzel

I was cleaning out my desktop directory and found this ebay page I saved over a month ago, intending to post it. I'm sure many of you have already seen it. Notice the high bid at that time was $10K. (I wonder if it actually sold for such an amount, or if someone was messing with them.)

In case you have trouble with the page, here's the image:

The woman who posted the snack food for sale stated the family was somewhat torn about whether to use the proceeds to support their church or to buy the daughter a horse. I'm sure Mary and Jesus were on the edges of their thrones.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Disclosure re: the Pontiff

I am a former Catholic. Yeah...that's not enough.

See, when I heard on MPR* that the Cardinals would have their meeting to decide who would be the next Pope on April 18, my first thought (after using my brain to snicker) was that "The red-hatted holy ones will pick their new infallible leader on my daughter's birthday!" Scooter thinks it's more appropriate now than it would have been last year. At any rate, my point is that I went automatically to ridicule, just as I have been pissy about the U.S. flags being at half mast since Saturday because of the death of a religious leader. I think Scooter thinks I am too pissy about the flag thing, since the Pope ran the Vatican, and the Vatican is a recognized political entity. In my defense, I must point out that so was Saddam at the time of his capture, and had we killed him outright then, he'd have been the dead recognized head of a recognized political entity, and nobody can tell me that we'd have lowered our flags for him. No, we lower our flags for recognized political entities' leaders when we like them, or when we have something to gain by so recognizing them. By lowering the flags, we convey the message that all of America mourns the death of JP2. Don't we? I mean, in the same way that when we invade Iraq, we convey the message that all of America thinks we should invade Iraq. Right? Yes and no. No, because any thinking person will realize that what the heads of state do only sometimes match the will of the people in general, and that seldom, if ever, do all people within a nation agree on anything. (We still have states flying the Confederate Flag on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. We are NOT of one opinion on many, many, many matters.) But yes, because that's the face we put on to the rest of the world. I am not mourning the Pope. I didn't like a lot of the things he said, and I don't like the station he held. But, I feel sad for those people to whom this man was important - that is, grief is painful, and I am not interested in minimizing anyone's grief simply because I disliked so much of what the object of their grief did/stood for.

So, more disclosure. I don't like the Catholic Church, as an institution. I understand that individual church communities stray quite far from Catholic dogma, and that their members don't necessarily frown on condom use, same-sex marriage, or sex without marriage just because the Church (if not their church) tells them they ought to frown on such things. Infallibility, that many Catholic churches continue the practice of praying to the Pope, and that "direct line to God" thing have long been my favorite sharp objects with which to prod the Bubble of Pope Worship because they seem so obviously ridiculous. David Koresh claimed to have a direct line to God, didn't he? (Correct me if I remember incorrectly.) He was the leader of a high-profile religious group. How do we know he didn't have that kind of access? Why should we believe the Pope does? Maybe, like Joan of Arc, they were both suffering from one form or another of psychosis and absolutely believed someone was talking to them and that that someone was God.

Anyway. Bury JP2, elevate some new infallible to the throne, and let's get on with it. But don't tell me I'm in mourning, 'cause I'm not.

*See, MS? I do get news from places other than The Daily Show and blogs.

Monday, April 04, 2005

That's Just Wrong

It's April 5th in Minnesota, I'm inside my house, and a *&$^%(# mosquito just bit me.

Here. Go watch bunnies reenact Jaws, and quit bothering me.

Half Mast

I can't imagine anyone cares what I think about JPII or his passing into Eternal Whatever, but it's my blog and I'll ponder if I want.

Look, people die every day. Most of them don't have hundreds of thousands of people praying about them, thinking about them, extolling their virtues, bemoaning their failings, and writing on their blogs about their deaths. However, JP2 was a special case. He was, after all, a world leader - that's why the U.S flags have been at half mast since Saturday. Well, he was a religious leader, anyway.

Wait, why are the flags lowered for a religious leader? Hey, Osama bin Laden is a religious leader. He doesn't have as many followers as JP2, but at the rate we're going in Iraq and Afghanistan, by the time he dies, he might. When bin Laden passes, will we lower the flags?

For more thoughtful remarks on the pope, see the stuff below.

BitchPh.D. on goodness and foolishness (I think it's generous, but interesting)
The Heretik on why we should be nice about dead folks (Scroll down to the heading "The Heretik comes not to praise the pope, but to bury him")

There's also interesting stuff at that last link on JP2's confusion about the worthiness of women and ideas that only gay men abuse altar boys (rape is about sex, right? those priests were all gay, and everyone knows Gay is Evil. Or a disease. Condoms are bad! Bad! Don't use them! You'll die faster and rid us of your scourge!) Ahem. Sorry.


Eryn and I traveled alone by car to Chicago on Friday to attend my nephew Max's first birthday party. (Eryn was a peach. I attribute it to good breeding and the existence of portable DVD players.) This was an event. My sister, L, said the invitation list got "out of control." Her husband, M, owns a cookie company (you can see and order Golden Walnut cookies here), and the factory became Party Central on Saturday afternoon. Obviously, Cookie Monster was in attendance.

Here's the birthday boy decorating cookies:

I'm linking to other photos from the weekend, or this post will be too heavily laden with photos and will annoy any of our friends who, like us, continue to log onto the internet with something akin to cups and strings.

Eryn and Grandma Geri decorating cookies
Eryn with balloon bunch after the party
Max and his new fire engine (courtesy Grandma Geri and Grandpa Larry)
Eryn driving the forklift at Golden Walnut
Aunt L with Eryn
L and Max at Michael's after the party
Eryn watching Boundin' on The Incredibles DVD in hotel (post party)
Sleepy toddler in the middle of Wisconsin (on the way home Sunday)

Oh, one more. This is what it looks like when traffic stops - dead - on I-94 just East of Eau Claire. For 30 minutes.

We moved a bit once, about 10 minutes into this (I have no idea why), and I was able to see that I was just one exit away (!!) from Private Pleasures, the Adult SuperStore, which is apparently also just East of Eau Claire.


New Mexico already had a "SEXGOD"?

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Would That I Had A USB

I could post a picture of Eryn trying to hide from the freaky Ronald McDonald at lunch in Tomah, WI. As I forgot it at home, it'll have to wait.


Her response to my suggestion that she come see Ronald:

And as close as she was willing to get: